Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Nutty headline in the Unscientific American

The headline for the article below reads: "Fortified by Global Warming, Deadly Fungus Poisons Corn Crops, Causes Cancer".  But they got their first premise wrong:  Even such temples of Warmism as the British Met Office now concede that there has been no warming in recent years.  So how can something non-existent cause fungus or anything else?  False scientific beliefs are not at all unknown (check phlogiston) so you would think that SciAm would be just a little skeptical.  No sign of it, though.  They are thoroughly committed to their Fascist ambitions

Last year’s drought increased the spread of a carcinogenic mold called aspergillus (Aspergillus flavus), a fungal pathogen that poisons cattle, kills pets and has infected the 2012 corn crop, rendering significant portions of the harvest unfit for consumption.

Whereas the deadly organism mainly affects countries like China and developing African nations, many U.S. states have experienced an increase in corn contamination since 2011. Farmers are likely to see more of the carcinogen as temperatures continue to rise and droughts become more frequent.

“It's really a climate variable issue,” says Barbara Stinson, founding and senior partner of Meridian Institute, a public policy organization. “We're probably looking at an increase in aflatoxin as a result of that.”

A. flavus releases toxic spores that can be fatal when ingested, prompting symptoms that include jaundice, liver cancer and internal bleeding. The poison is so deadly that in 1995 Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein confessed to weaponizing the mold spores for use in biological warfare. The high toxicity of the mold means crops with more than 20 parts per billion—the equivalent of about 100 kernels in a truckload of corn—can’t cross state lines, says Ronnie Heiniger, professor of cropping systems at North Carolina State University.


"Crikey" are rather hilarious climate crooks

Below is an excerpt from Australian Leftist e-zine "Crikey".  They refer to a railway engineer, Pachauri, as "the world’s most influential climate scientist".  LOL.

And they misrepresent an article in "The Australian" and the journal article  it is based on, both of which are reproduced below.  The last sentence of the journal abstract could hardly be clearer.  It says that the relationship between climate change and sea level rise is:  "weak or absent during the 20th century."  So who is representing the findings accurately?  "The Australian" or "Crikey".  You be the judge.

One of the 18 contributors to the paper (though not the corresponding author) is, however, a Warmist (John Church  -- as a CSIRO employee he just about HAS to be a Warmist) and Crikey readily got some Warmist quotes from him.  One wonders why they did not get quotes from the corresponding (main) author.  "Corresponding" means that he is the one you should talk to about the paper.  That John Church disowns the plain words of the paper suggests that his involvement with it was peripheral  -- probably contributing a few statistics

As The Australian claims sea level rise is not linked to global warming, the world’s most influential climate scientist has called on “sane and rational voices” to speak out and correct the record.

More than 250 scientists have gathered in Hobart today for a summit of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN’s climate science body. The Oz marked the summit’s opening with a front-page “exclusive” story which claimed there was “no link” between sea level rises and global warming.

In a telephone interview, Crikey asked the long-term chair of the IPCC Dr Rajendra Pachauri, in Tasmania for the summit, about the story.

“What is particularly important is that sane and rational voices must respond to these questions and this scepticism, and I think that should get adequate currency,” said Pachauri, who in 2007 accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the IPCC. “Then people can make up their minds on their own.”

He called on the media to take responsibility for the stories they run. “Unfortunately in several parts of the world, the media gives disproportionate coverage to those who take a contrarian view, even if they represent a very very small percentage of either the scientific consensus or public opinion. They get almost equal billing, and to my mind that seems a little unfair,” he said.

Pachauri said climate change was particularly serious for Australia: ”From the looks of it, Australia is very very vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, you have droughts, you have heat waves. Sea level rise could be a serious problem in some parts of the country. So Australia undoubtedly is very vulnerable, perhaps more so than several other places in the world.”

The Australian has long run a sceptical line on climate change, particularly in its opinion pages. Today’s story, written by environment editor Graham Lloyd, relied on a paper co-authored by Australian scientist Dr John Church. The paper apparently “said it could not link climate change and the rate of sea level rises in the 20th century”.

But Church, a sea level expert with the CSIRO, told a media conference today that was not an accurate description of the paper.

“So sea level clearly is linked to climate change, it is clearly linked to increases in greenhouse gases, and that’s actually in the paper which was quoted by The Australian. So the quote is, I’m sorry, inaccurate,” said Church, a co-ordinating lead author with the IPCC.

While The Australian claimed the paper had found no increase in the rate of sea level rise, Church said the paper showed the rate of sea level rise had increased between the 18th and 19th centuries, and research showed a further acceleration of the rate during the 20th century.


Sea rise 'not linked to warming', says report

THE latest science on sea level rises has found no link to global warming and no increase in the rate of glacier melt over the past 100 years.

A paper published last month in Journal of Climate highlights one of the great uncertainties in climate change research - will ocean levels rise by more than the current 3mm a year?

The peer-reviewed article, "20th-century global-mean sea-level rise: is the whole greater than the sum of the parts?" by JM Gregory, sought to explain the factors involved in sea-level rises during the last century. It found that sea-level rises had not accelerated "despite the increasing anthropogenic forcing" or human influence.

Australia's pre-eminent sea-level scientist, John Church, contributed to the paper, which said it could not link climate change and the rate of sea-level rises in the 20th century.

Australia is at the forefront of global research on sea-level rises, but must double its funding to $10 million a year to match other countries in the search for an answer.

There is no dispute that sea levels are rising and significant concerns about what the recent increased rate of melt of Arctic ice might mean. But the key question is whether the rate of sea-level rise will accelerate and, if so, when and by how much?

Australian optical space tracking technology developed to help manage remotely operated weapons systems is playing a key role in a global satellite monitoring program.

Ben Greene, a doctor of theoretical physics, said Australia was already a world leader in measuring sea levels.

"We have the precisions with what we are doing to measure sea level rises averaged over a decade," he said. "What we need to know is what the acceleration is."

Dr Greene's company owns the technology that is used worldwide to help measure sea level rise. He has offered the company's facilities profit-free to encourage Australia to increase its research effort in line with other nations.

"We need to move from fear-based to fact-based evidence," Dr Greene said. "We can trust the current models for the next 10 years, but there are problems after 15 years; sea level rises could be better or they could be worse."

The University of Reading paper says contributions to sea level rises include expansion of the water itself as it warms, melting glaciers and ice sheets, groundwater extraction and water trapped in reservoirs.

"We show that it is possible to reconstruct the time series of global mean sea level rise (GMSLR) from the quantified contributions," the paper said.

"Semi-empirical methods for projecting global mean sea level rise depend on the existence of a relationship between global climate change and the rate of GMSLR, but the implication of our closure of the budget is that such a relationship is weak or absent during the 20th century," the paper said.

Dr Greene said overseas opinion was there would be a bit more sea level rise in the short term.

"The interesting thing comes in about 10 years' time if methane and CO2 traps in the ocean start to get released," he said.

"There would then be at least a short term acceleration some time in the 2020s. But the rise may accelerate and then reverse."

Twentieth-century global-mean sea-level rise: is the whole greater than the sum of the parts?

By J. M. Gregory et al.


Confidence in projections of global-mean sea-level rise (GMSLR) depends on an ability to account for GMSLR during the 20th century. There are contributions from ocean thermal expansion, mass loss from glaciers and ice sheets, groundwater extraction and reservoir impoundment. We have made progress towards solving the “enigma” of 20th-century GMSLR—that is, the observed GMSLR has been found to exceed the sum of estimated contributions, especially for the earlier decades. We propose that: thermal expansion simulated by climate models may previously have been underestimated owing to their not including volcanic forcing in their control state; the rate of glacier mass loss was larger than previously estimated, and was not smaller in the first than in the second half of the century; the Greenland ice-sheet could have made a positive contribution throughout the century; groundwater depletion and reservoir impoundment, which are of opposite sign, may have been approximately equal in magnitude. We show that it is possible to reconstruct the timeseries of GMSLR from the quantified contributions, apart from a constant residual term which is small enough to be explained as a long-term contribution from the Antarctic ice-sheet. The reconstructions account for the approximate constancy of the rate of GMSLR during the 20th century, which shows small or no acceleration, despite the increasing anthropogenic forcing. Semi-empirical methods for projecting GMSLR depend on the existence of a relationship between global climate change and the rate of GMSLR, but the implication of our closure of the budget is that such a relationship is weak or absent during the 20th century.

Journal of Climate, 2012

Victory for reason as Anti-Nuclear 'Linear No Threshold' theory dropped

by Neil Craig

FOR SIXTY YEARS the Linear No Threshold theory (LNT), the basis for saying that low level radiation is harmful, has been the foundation of the anti-nuclear movement. It has never had any scientific justification whatsoever and, in a new report released last month, this fact has now been publicly acknowledged by the the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR).

This is important because the theory that low-level radiation is harmful was the foundation of almost all anti-nuclear scare stories. Indeed it is so important that, with the sole exception of Forbes magazine, it has gone entirely unreported by the world's press and broadcasters.

Indeed I believe that, by providing justification for hysteria against nuclear power and thus ending the fast growth in the nuclear industry of the 1960s, this scare has done more to retard human progress than even the catastrophic warming fraud. And not merely because it has lasted longer.

For some time now I have been collating news from around the world on the evidence against the Linear No Threshold theory here. I did originally intend to also list evidence for it but, despite diligent searching, neither I, nor any anti-nuclear campaigner, could find any.

From now on anybody who says low level radiation is harmful can be publicly called a liar – and anybody who doesn't can't put a decent anti-nuclear case.

The fears engendered by this scare story have been directly responsible for the standstill in nuclear energy generation and thus in most energy generation overall in the world since 1970. Without that scare the world would be producing at least twice as much electricity and would thus be roughly twice as well off.

Such paradigm shattering news is of massive worldwide significance and has thus been ignored by virtually all the world's conventional media


Some commendable doubt

Instead of blaming wildfires on "climate change", the article below concedes all sorts of influences.  It even concedes at the end that wildfires might have a cooling effect!

Every year, large areas of the Earth's surface burn, and the number of fires is increasing. Is climate change fanning the flames? Or are the fires making climate change worse?

The climate is complex. It is so complex that it's difficult for researchers to give accurate climate forecasts because it is so heavily influenced by external factors – solar radiation, greenhouse gasses and oceans. Another factor, which has been largely ignored until now, is fire. Only recently have experts realized that large forest and bush fires are noticeably changing the climate while being affected by it.

"Every year, more than 400 million acres (160 million hectares) are burnt. That's an area bigger than the size of India," says Silvia Kloster from the Max Plank Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg.

Lightning often ignites wood, destroying entire forests. People play a role too by extinguishing the fires and controlling or preventing fires on land. In addition, some also burn forests to gain agricultural land.

Fire maybe an occupational hazard for most, but it is Kloster's specialization. She wants to find out the impact that fire has on the climate and vice versa. Since the mid 19th Century, as more land was cleared for farming and cities were built, fewer fires have raged across the continents. But things changed.

"Our simulations show that 1960 was the tipping point," she explains. "Since then the area that burns up on the Earth has been expanding."

Does climate change increase the risk of fire?

Climate scientists are blaming the increase of fires on global warming, which has caused many places to become warmer and drier. Dry wood burns better than moist timber. In addition, the rising carbon dioxide levels in the air allow plants to grow better. As a result, the Earth has more biomass – more fuel for fires to burn. To find out whether this trend is set to continue and if climate change will lead to more fires on the planet in 25 years, Kloster and her fellow researchers are simulating scenarios on a computer.

"Globally, we see an increase," Kloster says. "In some of the simulations, the number of fires increased by 20 percent for 2040."

But there are significant differences.  "In some areas we see an increase, while in other regions however, a decrease is predicted," she explains.

The number of fires could increase in tropical forests. But Mediterranean regions will probably have less fires because of increasing drought, which will result in less vegetation.

Interaction remains unclear

It's not just the climate that affects fires, massive fires also affect the climate. The larger and more intense a fire is, the more carbon dioxide is released into the air – this usually temporal. Eventually, plants and trees, which bind the carbon dioxide, grow on the burnt land again.

"But there are many other factors," says Kloster. "Fires don't only release carbon dioxide, they also release many other gases."

Considerable amounts of methane, a more pollutant greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide is just one example. Add to that, the large amounts of ash that are released into the air. These jet-black particles absorb sunlight and through that are highly efficient in heating the planet's atmosphere.

But, it's tricky. Some particles that are released into the atmosphere by the fire, absorb the heat by acting as a cloud. These clouds cool the atmosphere by reflecting sunlight back into space. For Kloster, the question whether more fires will occur in future and whether they will hasten climate change or slow it down persists.

"This is the question our research is trying to answer," she says.


Australian government "science" advisors are gung-ho Warmists

Queensland Senator Ron Boswell has slammed the involvement of Gillard Government climate advisors in a Greenpeace campaign to hamstring the Australian coal industry.

Senator Boswell said it was “outrageous” for members of the Science Advisory Panel of the Climate Commission and the Climate Change Authority to sign an open letter calling for expansion of Australian coal exports to be stopped.

Senator Boswell was commenting on a Greenpeace-funded full-page advertisement published in a national newspaper yesterday talking about “out of control global warming” and arguing that Australia’s coal exports must “peak and decline” by 2015.

“Everyone is entitled to express an opinion but it is not appropriate for advisors to the Climate Commission and a member of the Climate Change Authority to take part in an advertising campaign calculated to damage the Australian coal industry” Senator Boswell said.

“The Climate Commission describes itself as ‘an independent body set up to provide reliable and authoritative source of information on climate change’ and the Climate Change Authority ‘provides independent advice on the operation of the carbon price, emissions reduction targets, caps and trajectories, and other Australian Government climate change initiatives’.

“These are people who are hand-picked by the Gillard Government to provide advice on climate policy. What signal does it send out about how Labor views coal mining to have its own advisors signing up to a campaign against the industry?”

Senator Boswell said the full-page advertisement took the form of an open letter and signatories included Prof. David Karoly and Prof. Matthew England. They are both members of the Science Advisory Panel of the Climate Commission and Prof. Karoly is also a member of the Climate Change Authority.

“If they want to campaign against the coal industry, they should resign their positions on these Government bodies,” Senator Boswell said. “If they do not resign, they should be removed by the Government. Then they will be free to express their views on the coal industry openly and freely.

“For the Labor Government to take no action will be to send a very clear message about how it views the coal industry, putting at risk another $50 billion in investment needed to boost the Australian economy and provide much-needed employment.”

Senator Boswell said coal is Australia’s second-most valuable export commodity, with exports valued at $49 billion in 2011-12, and the industry provided 55,000 direct jobs.

“This is a very important industry for the Queensland economy and Queensland jobs, not just on the coalfields but in coastal regions as well. Royalties paid by the coal industry in Queensland last year totalled more than $2.3 billion,” he said.

“Around $14 billion has already been committed for new coal mining projects, with a further $40 billion of investment under consideration. The coal industry, and coal exports, will play a vital role in the future of the Australian economy.”

Press release from Sen. Boswell's office []



Preserving the graphics:  Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here and here


1 comment:

Joseph said...

They're alarmed at aflatoxin? Didn't the Greens minimize the dangers of aflatoxin back when the topic was fungicides?

As a general rule, leftists only become aware of a problem when they can think of some way to blame capitalism.